News Flash: Draft EIS issued for TransWest Express

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 28 published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the TransWest Express transmission project, opening a 90-day public comment period that ends Sept. 25.

The proposed project consists of 725 miles of 600-kV HVDC transmission through parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada to deliver up to 3,000 MW of Wyoming wind energy to Arizona, California and Nevada, and to improve reliability.

Developers TransWest Express and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) will each contribute $25m to fund the development stage of the project. The total project cost is estimated at $3bn, according to TransmissionHub data. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and WAPA are joint lead agencies for the project.

In October 2011, the TransWest project was selected by the Obama administration’s Rapid Response Team for Transmission for accelerated siting and permitting. 

The current schedule anticipates the release of a final EIS and subsequent record of decision (ROD) in 2014, followed by the beginning of construction later the same year. Construction is expected to take three years and the project is schedule to enter service in 2016.